LGBTs in the Australian state of Queensland have picketed the Liberal National Party’s state conference in Brisbane to protest the government’s winding back of LGBT rights.
Around a hundred people picketed the conference on Saturday, holding up placards with slogans including, ‘Pride not Prejudice,’ ‘Homophobia has to go,’ and ‘Hate is not a Family Value’ outside the Brisbane Hilton hotel.
Since taking power in March the Queensland Government has scrapped official ceremonies for civil unions and renamed them as ‘registered relationships,’ and defunded the state’s LGBT health service in what has been the greatest LGBT rights reversal in Australian history.
The government has also announced plans to remove recognition of lesbian co-mothers as parents and make it a criminal offence, punishable by up to three years in jail, for gay couples, singles, and heterosexuals who have been in a relationship for less than two years to offer or enter into altruistic surrogacy arrangements.
The Queensland Government is moving forward with these plans despite its leader, Premier Campbell Newman, stating that he would leave the Surrogacy Act alone if elected to government.
“We will not be making any changes to the laws on those matters,” Newman told reporters when asked about surrogacy laws a week before the election.
Newman later told the Brisbane Times the commitment had been ‘a mistake.’
‘I was asked a question about something and frankly I was not across what my team had been pushing for,’ Newman said.
The conference also heard proposals for sending juvenile offenders to boot camps, the banning of so-called climate change propaganda in schools, and the scrapping of special education support payments for indigenous students.
The Liberal National Party won office with an unprecedented electoral landslide, gaining control of Queensland’s single chamber of Parliament for the first time since 1984 and ousting the Labor Party which has been reduced from 51 seats to just seven.